Autumn and Halloween are just so WONDERFUL! Who doesn’t love Halloween parties? Check out some of the great ideas below and learn how you can throw a great party – and not spend your mortgage money.
One of my best birthday parties as a kid was my Halloween themed party. First, because I got to have my birthday earlier (my birthday is in November,) and second, it was so much fun! If you’re looking to throw a Halloween party, here are some ideas and money-saving tips.
Sweet and Simple
First, keep it simple. It’s all about the kids having fun, and it doesn’t take much to make kids smile (other than shenanigans and sugar!) Next, set up a drop-off and pick-up time. Always a good idea when mixing kids with massive amounts of treats.
Finally, if you’re going to make goody bags, or play games with prizes, check out stores like Oriental Trading Company. Find cool toys in bulk, like glow-in-the-dark vampire fangs with 72 pieces for $5.00. You can pick from Halloween rubber duckies, sticky hands, tattoos and tons more for cheap.
Thrifty Tip #1: Go to sites like FatWallet and get cash back, free shipping and see all deals in the Halloween category.
Set up a haunted house. My birthday party haunted house was at my dad’s shop. It was dark, scary, involved moving equipment, chainsaws and fire (in a safe way, of course.) Another option is an actual “home” made haunted house. Have a guide lead kids through the house telling a ghost story, set the ambience (dark, of course, with special lighting,) and let kids knock on each closed door in the house with a “trick” and a good scare waiting for them. Maybe add a “treat” behind each door to fill their bag. Get creative and perhaps utilize your garage for the finale!
Thrifty Tip #2: For cheap haunted house costumes, check out Halloween stores online for closeouts and clearance sections with last year’s masks, costumes and wigs.
For smaller children, play Monster Dash, a Halloween version of Red Light, Green Light. Each kid ties a blown up balloon around their ankle with a surprise inside. Green light (or Halloween music on): kids try and pop eachother’s balloon by stomping on them. Red Light (or Halloween music off): they have to freeze. Last player with a balloon wins, but everyone wins the prize in the balloon once they are “popped” out.
Order a Halloween themed piñata or have a scavenger hunt. Hide plastic pumpkins, goodies or objects filled with surprises around the house or yard. To fill the objects, use candy or rubber bugs are always a hit. Bugs or skeletons you can fling are even better!
Thrifty Tip #3: Order a reasonable priced piñata at stores like Walmart through a cash back site for more savings and get free shipping to a store near you.
Hocus Pocus, Everybody Focus (On a Craft)
Always have a few extra craft ideas and plan on not doing them all but going with the flow of the party. Here are a few of my favorite ideas.
* Decorate small pumpkins or gourds with markers, paint, glitter or any creative supplies for a cool party favor.
* Make paper plate masks and have a contest to name “scariest,” “funniest,” or “most creative.”
* Face paint Halloween objects or actual costumes like witches, pirates, mummies, animals, characters and more.
I found a lot of kid-friendly, creative recipes that are healthier.
1. Apple bites with almonds: quarter and core an apple, cut a wedge from the skin side of each quarter, and press slivered almonds in place for teeth.
2. Pizza Mummies: use toasted english muffins, pizza sauce, pulled apart and melted cheese sticks for the wrapping, sliced black olives for the eyes, and red pepper for the pupil.
3. Popcorn Ball Spiderwebs: make or buy popcorn balls and stick a spider ring on it.
5. Breadstick bones: buy breadsticks and shape ends as bones before you bake. Butter or salt to taste. Add fun dipping sauces.
6. Snack-o-lanterns: carve an orange as a jack-o-lantern. Slice the top of an orange and hollow it out. Scoop and use inside of the orange and combine with other fruit for a fruit salad. Fill lantern with fruit salad. Time-consuming but fun.
Thrifty Tip #4: Go to your local apple orchard and buy “seconds.” You can get a huge bag of apples for cheap because they are smaller or have a bruise or spot. They are still good, fresh apples to use for apple bites, caramel apples, bobbing for apples or just eating.
I hope you find the perfect mix of fun for you and your kids this Halloween. Remember not go overboard and keep it simple and fun for everyone. Maybe start a new tradition this Halloween or find ways to lessen your candy load but not take all of the fun out for the kids. After all, it’s one day a year for kids to get that candy gleam in their eye and use their wildest imaginations to dress up or dream.
Thrifty tip #5: Have a costume exchange party before Halloween. Have your friends bring all of their old costumes and let kids exchange, pick and combine new outfits. Probably better with younger kids to avoid fighting. If you don’t come away with a costume, you can always brainstorm, get some ideas and de-clutter by getting rid of old costumes.